"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Archive for January, 2013

Sneak Peek at the Black and Whites and a Thank You to All

 

The Black and Whites

 

The photos are hung in the gallery with care.

The show’s Opening Reception is 12:30 Sunday.    Hope to see you there.    That’s it for the rhyme.

I know many of you are far away but  send good thoughts.  I am grateful to all my supportive friends and family who cheer me on.

Know many have teaching, work & family obligations or will be too far to come but am looking forward to seeing those who are able to make it!

Groundhog Phil needs to make sure there’s no snow or ice.

                                      Thanks to everyone who helped make the show possible-

Linda K. who nominated my work to the Art Committee (a good knitting friend)

Tom U. @ pixel.river images- Your archival pigment on the rag paper make the photos stellar

Mark and Jennifer at Panza Gallery who made an all out effort and framed and matted to make the show look so polished and professional.

Thanks to Steve who helped load the car before school and drove to Millvale Wednesday to take the photos I tried to switch out in frames. HA!

Charlotte T. the coordinator and the entire Art Committee at the First Unitarian Church.  (At the risk of spelling anyone’s name incorrectly I will thank the committee)

My neighbor Joaquin with the eye, thanks for showing me how to use a tape measure properly and for helping me select the groupings.

 

 

 

 


Skumps, Groundhog!

Just a couple of days left to prepare for the big day. Groundhog’s Day!  You know he’s going to see his shadow and predict 6 more weeks of winter.

Preparations are in full swing in Punxsutawney PA.  There are other groundhogs who try to share the limelight but Punxsutawney Phil is the REAL groundhog prognosticator of the weather.  Just about 85 miles Northeast from downtown Pittsburgh.

When Steve and I were at Grant Bar in Millvale,  this was the special on the chalkboard.  This is a local brew made in St. Mary’s PA at STRAUB.  You can take a virtual tour of their brewery here

The bartender brought one out and allowed me to photograph the label.  No groundhogs were harmed to make this brew.

Groundhog Brew

 

 

 

 

Groundhog Brew sign


Anna’s Self Portrait at the Swim Meet

You know how Anna (9) likes to borrow her mom’s iPhone and take photos?

She was the photographer of the pick up truck full of legs post in case you missed it.

So I said I would put her photo on the blog but I needed her to explain how she took the photo and I would add that information on the post.

See the second photo.  She drew the little symbol- to turn the camera so it faces inward?   I photographed her iPhone sketch.

That was how she explained it. Oh yes, she said told me she had mirror goggles.  I like how she thinks about composing a photograph.

She enjoyed being guest blogger so much.  I think we need to get her a camera!

Swim Meet Self Portrait

 

 

 

iPhone camera sketch


Got Bridges?

Just a few.  Here are some  bridges that cross the Allegheny River.   Since I showed the one closed yesterday, it seemed to make sense to post a shot of more bridges.

If you want to read about Pittsburgh Bridges,  click here .

 Taken from Mount Washington, Duquesne Incline observation deck just last week.

And the Tenth Street Bridge in the Tom Cruise movie (Jack Reacher) isn’t in this shot but here 

Pittsburgh Bridges in Winter


My Maps App Took Me Here to Cross the Mon?

(I think I read somewhere-  don’t use alliteration?  Mmmmmmmmm.)

How did I end up here, looking to cross the Mon?

I couldn’t believe it when I landed right in front of this sign. Bridge Closed.  It was just getting dark.

Turns out this bridge to Donora has been closed since 2009!!! The way you have to go now is a four mile addition to the trip.

The Monongahela River winds all around the place.  I’d crossed it at Homestead at the beginning of my journey.

Then I found out later this bridge is slated to be demolished.

With the help of my son’s MIL, Marlene, on the phone in Hardy, Virginia,  I found the Monessen Bridge and wound around  and up and over  to Donora.

You can’t always trust your Maps App.  At least the sign didn’t say BRIDGE OUT!    It was one of three routes.  Better try a different one next time. I read about the major supports having deteriorated.  Maybe the maps app just wanted to show me it for a photo op?

Took this right out of the passenger window

Took this right out of the passenger window


Snowy Friday Afternoon in the City

It was snowing and really cold.  I actually pulled over,got out of the car and took this pictureI.  I  was headed home from school on Friday.

The idea of going to the regular grocery store was out of the question although the larder was fairly empty.  Had to stop somewhere.

I was in the Bloomfield neighborhood and decided to shop at Groceria Italiana and pick up some essentials.

When I got home I cooked the sweet and hot sausage and added the house sauce I had purchased.  (Chicago John avert your eyes- if you click his name you get a recipe for homemade meat sauce)

A little fresh grated cheese and a glass of organic wine. Glad to be in a warm house and it tasted just fine!  City Street in Snow

Snow in Doormat

Snow in the door mat!

Sausage

spaghetti


Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

Love, love, love.

All you need is love.

Love is all you need.

I liked the Paris bridge photo with all the locks on it posted on WordPress’ Daily Post that tells what the weekly challenge is.  LOVE!

My thought was some wedding couples. Went to the archives.

As I looked for the pics to post I saw a series I put up last Father’s Day and since it is Murphy’s 11th birthday I decided that he would be the one to  best illustrate the definition of love.

I know Max and Mingus and Coltrane
and Rumpy Dog will agree I made the right choice for today’s challenge.  Not sure how Isobelandcat feel about Murphy.

Happy Birthday Murphy.  With much love from your family.  You exemplify love!  Pure and unconditional love.

Murphy and Anna

Murphy and Michael

Murphy and jack3

Murphy and Maura

Murphy and kids1


Last Sliver of Sun

Before I drove up the mountain, I went to one of my favorite spots on West Carson Street.  This is what made me decide to head up to Mt. Washington to catch the incline in the snow as the sun set.

 

city skyline


Incline in the Snow

I returned to the Duquesne Incline platform on Monday evening as I arrived from Ohio.  Not quite as much snow as I thought there would be.

Taken just as the sun sank in the sky and the temperatures dropped.  Will try again, a different winter day.

Couldn’t wait any longer to shoot when the sky was darker as it was too windy and cold.  You might have liked the night time version better.

IMG_3530


Thinking About Pie on National Pie Day

I emailed my friend Rob to see if he had any updates for National Pie Day this year.  He is the only pie judge I know. Official, that is.

Just a year ago he was guest blogger with the National Pie Day post.  When I went to retrieve the post and his photos with Willard Scott and Keegan Gerhard, I remembered how a fellow blogger helped me out that day.  No visible pictures had posted when I published the guest blog, just blue boxes with question marks.  I saw them on my computer but no one else could see them on theirs!

Thanks to the expertise of Chicago John from the Bartolini Kitchens Blog we were able to see Rob’s photos last year.

And although I knew it was National Pie Day today, you see what I came up with this year?

The idea of pie.  The possibility of pie.  Contemplating the making of pie.

What’s available in the larder?

A lone can of pumpkin?

A few apples for school lunch?

Tons of citrus, some grapes.  There are raisins in the fridge but raisin pie has zero appeal to me.

So here’s my offering, Rob.

A pretty pie plate in the afternoon sun and the mere suggestion of a pie to be created. Great for the calorie count, if one were so inclined.

Pretty Pie Plate in Afternoon Sun


It’s Cold Outside!

This is the first meal I ate in Zagreb when I visited Matty.  I must have had the spoon in my hand when I took the photo?

Thought this bowl of hot soup looked inviting for this way below freezing January night. I shot all those vacation pics with a Canon 20D and I miss that camera.  The shutter eventually failed and I even had it repaired but it failed again.  I just liked that camera.

 

 

Chicken Soup


Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond.

Beyond repair.

 

Beyond belief.

 

Beyond reasonable doubt.

 

Beyond recognition.

 

Beyond comprehension.

 

Beyond the fence.

 

Beyond the horizon.

 

Beyond the trees.

 

Faith in the Great Beyond.

 

Beyond that?

 

Beyond me.

City beyond

 

 

 

 

Public Housing

 

 

 

 

Suburban morning view

 

 

 

 

 

Chair

 

 

 

urban madonna bloomfield

 

 

 

 

west end bridge

 

 

 

Beyond the trees

 

 

 

IMG_0396

 


You Have to be 8 to Take the Cake Decorating Class

When I got to Ohio Friday evening, Anna(9)  was out with a friend, taking a cake decorating class for kids.

When she got home, she put some finishing touches on her Kitty Cat Cake while her younger sister Maura watched intently.

Then Anna put the lid of the cake carrier on the cake to protect it and left the kitchen

Maura watches Anna

There Perfect!

IMG_0497 (1)

cake carrier

Peeking In Cake Carrier

cat cake eyes

Maura licked the frosting knife.

Licking the Knife


City Rooftop Night View

 

 

 

 

Thank Kathryn for sharing your hotel room view.  I love the night sky and lights.  IMG_3321


Roberto Clemente Bridge at Night

Roberto Clemente Bridge from a different angle. High up! What a view.

Photographed from the lovely Renaissance Hotel’s fourteenth floor – my fellow blogger’s room.  The Allegheny River looked pretty chilly.

If you follow me you know how I enjoy working on my night photography.  Love all the lights’ reflections, especially in the water.  Too bad it wasn’t baseball season as we could have watched the game from her room!

I was telling Kathryn about how the bridge is closed when there are Pirates Games and you can walk across to PNC Park.  Thanks for inviting me up to see the city at night.  What fun. I think I need to book a corner room with a river view and just take photographs at different times of day.

 

Roberto Clemente Bridge 008


Incline Operator

Meet Chuck Wise.  He says his job has its “ups and downs.”  You can find him on youtube he told me!    Thanks for the tour, Chuck.  I was showing fellow blogger Vastly Curious around the Burgh Wednesday night, all the fine sights (  the city view on Grandview Avenue in Mount Washington)

Brrrr it was windy out on the platform.

Churck Wise (like the potato chip he reminded me so I’d spell his name right) has been operating the incline for about 15 years, just as his Great Grandfather did.

He graciously allowed me to photograph and blog him.. Thanks Chuck.

Chuck Wise in door 003

Opened to Public: May 20, 1877
Cost to Build: $47,000
Length of Track: 794 feet
Elevation: 400 feet
Grade: 30.5 degrees
Speed: 6 miles per hour
Passenger: Capacity 18 per car
Chuck Wise on Controls 002
Incline 007
Incline 004
Incline 006

Madison and 57th, Looking West

A week of bright shining stars.

The Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination inspired me to post twice and then I received these photos in my email.

I love it when my friends, family and followers respond with a photograph.

My college friend/ artist/ photographer Joyce Grasso sent this to me.  I wrote back and she graciously consented to be guest blogger. 

Shot through a car window with a cell phone.  Last Spring my sister and I met Joyce at MOMA and toured the Cindy Sherman exhibit.

Thanks for sharing your illumination capture of the star in New York City, Joyce!

 

 

 

 

 

photo 3

 

 

 

 

 

Star NYC

 


Suzanne Creates Upcycled Sweater Scarves

Upcycled sweater scarves! 

Talk about transformation.   I never really knew the word UPCYCLED but that’s the term. Makes sense.

These two scarves were created by my friend Suzanne from a couple of tired, holey sweaters in my wardrobe.

Suzanne cuts the sweaters(after she washes them) into pieces and then crochets sock yarn all around with a little or a lot of fancy edging.

I was preparing to mail the green scarf to Laura in Columbus and had my own red scarf in the car on the passenger seat.  They looked so good together I took a few photos (before I mailed the green one.  No E, I wasn’t driving!)

Last Christmas I sent a couple to friends as gifts.  I get a lot of compliments when I am sporting the red one.  I fold mine in half and loop the ends through.  Cozy!

Old cashmere sweaters that no longer fit or have a couple of moth holes are the softest to make into a scarf but lambswool or merino is nice, too.

Unfortunately photographed with the iPhone instead of the proper lens but still pretty and colorful contrast.

IMG_3980

 

 

 

Closeup of detail on the green scarf.

Sweater Scarf

And the red scarf detail

red scarf detail


Downtown Alley

 

 

The illumination challenge could have kept me going for the rest of the year.  I shoot a lot of photos in the dark with lights!  When you look at your body of work ( or parts of it) you notice different things and details on different days.

When I was sifting through files, I found this city alley downtown and just liked the perspective, the people, the shapes and lines. Although it was captured in another season, the thermometer went up to 69 degrees ( I saw it lit up on a sign!) and for the second week of January it feels odd.

I think I need to return downtown and shoot some more alley views.

 
downtown alley


Illumination Deux

Today when I read the Retiring Sort’s blog post with the  beautiful Moravian Stars in NYC, I remembered a star display I photographed in January 2010. It was a block from West Penn Hospital on Friendship Avenue.  It was magical and they were suspended between several row houses’ yards. Not sure if they had them up this year or not.  This is a p.s. to the Weekly Photo Challenge.:Illumination.

Illumination Stars

 


Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

This post of the electric poinsettia is inspired by Leanne Cole Photography Playing With Light post. Thanks Leanne.  I had the students work with the same method and it was a lot of fun. Bringing the light to the front helped the foil reflect the penlight.

The weekly challenge: illumination by Cheri Lucas is a great one for this time of year.

ELectric Poinsetta

 

 

Waiting to get the okay

Christmas morning- Waiting for the okay to go see if Santa arrived

 

 

 

electric santa

Kennywood at night

IMG_3423

2008 Cathedral of Learning Festival of Lights

cathedral


First Class Mail Brought a Box of Whoppers

Laura noticed a box of Junior Mints (mailed right in their original box) in a post she saw on Pinterest!

Now I have a Pinterest account but don’t really know what to do with it but she saw the mailing of the box of candy, the size you might have gotten at a movie theatre years ago.

Slap a label on it and head to the Post Office and they didn’t blink an eye. Just asked if the contents were hazardous, liquid, flammable  or fragile?   There is a whole listing at Pinterest of fun things to mail.  

(It reminded me of when her brother Mark sent her a coconut from Hawaii when he was stationed  in USMC.  A coconut with stamps!) 

By the way, Laura told me on the phone tonight that eating Malted Milk Balls gives her the chills, like fingernails on the blackboard, the texture of them makes her cringe.

But she remembers it was the candy of my choice when I was in high school. A good friend and I could’ve choked to death, loading our mouths with them, seeing how many we could fit in at once.   Seriously.

I tasted a couple tonight and the coating tasted a bit like I imagine car wax to taste and the inside seemed a bit stale, dry and sandy and less enjoyable or flavorful as I remember loving malted milk balls.  My taste buds must have changed.

But they were fun to receive and shake the box and think about her mailing them to me right in the box!  Thanks for the fun in the mail, Laura.  A terrific post holiday pick-me-up!

Malted Milk Balls


Family of Four Walking at Alum Creek Dam

Hard to see them in the first photo.

My daughter -in- law was driving and I was the passenger.  Shot from a moving van.  They are walking above the Alum Creek Reservoir. 

Family of Four walking at the Dam 1

 

 

 

Oh there they are!

 

Family of Four walking at the Dam


Matching Satin Bows

From the wedding archives- a little more than 3 years ago.  Chair sash and flower girl.

The matching satin bows caught my eye.

matching bows


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